ATD2011 Red Fisher Semi: McGuire's Monsters vs. Philadelphia Firebirds
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05-16-2011, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
As my opponent pointed out, my first line is slightly better than his, at first glance. But, I think this difference might be a little more pronounced than you may believe. My 1st line holds a significant advantage in terms of playoff scoring. Bathgate had the misfortune(or fortune if you look at it in one way in terms of regular season scoring), of playing on bad teams. So, you can't criticize him for being a bad playoff performer. When he was in the playoffs, he was decent. But, let's compare how each guy stacks up to the other in the playoffs.
Alf Smith vs. Dick Duff
Play-off Goals - 2nd(1904), 2nd(1905), 2nd(1906), 6th(1907)
4x Top 10 Playoff Goals (4, 5, 7, 7)
6x Top 10 Playoff Assists (3, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9)
5x Top 10 Playoff Points (3, 4, 8, 9, 10)
Even before you consider the fact that those are very misleading finishes, Duff is still better. 12 of those 33 goals came against the Dawson City Nuggets, Toronto Marlboros, and Winnipeg Rowing Club. Add onto the fact that an unspecified amount came against Queen's University and Smith's Falls, the difference becomes even more pronounced. My opponent will be quick to point out that this means the same think for Frank McGee. Yes, it does. I acknowledged last round that his playoff competition was weak. My point is that Duff's playoff finishes are significantly more impressive considering the stats in Dreakmur's bio.
That brings us to Jean Beliveau and Norm Ullman.
Play-off Points – 1st(1963), 1st(1966), 2nd(1964), 6th(1965)
Play-off Goals – 1st(1966), 2nd(1964), 4th(1965), 5th(1963)
Play-off Assists – 1st(1963), 2nd(1964), 2nd(1966)
9x Top 10 Goals NHL Playoffs (1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 6, 6, 8)
10x Top 10 Assists NHL Playoffs (1, 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 7)
11x Top 10 Points NHL Playoffs (1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 9)
A big advantage goes to Beliveau there.
That brings us to Andy Bathgate and Jari Kurri.
Goals: 1, 4, 5
Points: 7, 9
He has no top 10s in assists.
7x Top 10 Goals in Playoffs (1, 1, 1, 1, 7, 8, 9)
7x Top 10 Assists in Playoffs (3, 4, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
6x Top 10 Points in Playoffs (2, 3, 3, 4, 6, 7)
Kurri comes out miles ahead. That's without even looking at the fact that Kurri had a much deeper talent pool to compete against.
My point is not that we can criticize Bathgate, Ullman, and Smith really for being average playoff performers(for either not getting there enough like Bathgate, playing against bad competition like Smith, or just not being all that impressive when his teams made the playoffs like Ullman), but to realize that the difference between the level of playoff performance between the two lines is huge. Even if we were to count all of Smith's goal finishes as being point finishes(which isn't fair, but just to prove how big this gap is),
Jean Beliveau alone has more top 10s in playoff points than the entire Monsters 1st line, 11 to 7!
Overall, Philadelphia's 1st line is significantly better in the playoffs compared to the Monsters' 1st line. I never said that the playoffs mean more than the regular season or that the playoffs are all that matters, just pointing out that the gap between playoff point production in the first lines is very largely in Philadelphia's favor.
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